HONG KONG (WWJ/AP) – A Hong Kong jury has found a Michigan native guilty of murder in her retrial over the death of her wealthy husband. Nancy Kissel, who used to live in Adrian, had denied murdering her husband in 2003, but later admitted to manslaughter in the judge-ordered retrial.
Kissel’s stepfather, Michael McGlothlin, said he was surprised at the guilty verdict.
“Shocked at the outcome; can’t conceive of the mindset of the jurors who could listen to that evidence for ten week and come away with that belief,” McGlothlin said.
Prosecutors said the then-44-year old housewife spiked Robert Kissel’s milkshake with a sedative — and evidence found on her computer showed she had searched the Internet for heart-attack inducing drugs and sleeping pills. Prosecutors argued that Kissel stood to gain up to $18 million her husband’s death, and that she planned to run away with a TV repairman with whom she was having an affair.
The defense said Kissel was physically and sexually abused by her husband. Nancy Kissel told the jury in her February testimony that Robert Kissel’s behavior changed after she had the first of the couple’s three children in 1994, and he started forcing her to have oral and anal sex while becoming more emotionally distant and absorbed in his work as an investment banker for Merrill Lynch & Co.
Kissel’s mental and physical state has deteriorated since she entered prison more than five years ago and she now weighs just 38 kilograms (84 pounds).
Kissel’s mother, Jean McGlothlin, said the family plans to meet with Nancy soon.
“She looks okay. We’ll go see her tomorrow, as we had planned, as we’ve done every Saturday — and we’ll talk about what we do next,” McGlothlin said
Kissel’s first trial grabbed worldwide attention because it detailed the breakdown of a wealthy expatriate marriage in the southern Chinese financial hub. The case spawned two books and a TV special.
Robert Kissel had worked as an investment banker for Merrill Lynch & Co.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.